Day to Day Poetry, Day to Day Writing, poetry

#12 Ghost conversations

I spend my days writing words you will never read –
I spread myself out in social media for you,
hoping you would come across at least one of them
and read and marvel and wonder why you wasted all this time
not wanting to get to know me –
I am but a click away from baring it all,
my body and words burnt permanently across the internet
silently screaming for you to right-click and save as a keepsake
taking up a megabyte in your terabyte hard drive that
you built in the wooden floor of the apartment we once lived in
which you abandoned so that you can enjoy this new life
I am no longer a part of.

I made it easy for you.
Didn’t scream, didn’t fight; just folded my legs underneath my knees
and kept sitting;
my fingers trembling as I continued painting a canvas
I was mentally un-dedicating for you.
Kept watching Netflix while I listened to you packing your bags in the hallway
hoping for a second of silence to tell me you’re hesitating,
that you’re thinking twice about walking away.
But like everything else in your life, once you decided something,
you stuck to it, and kept going –
not a single pause for the days and nights we spent together
holding each other like we were the only people in the world.

Are you reading me yet?
Am I getting through that stone-cold armour even the apocalypse
can’t break through?
I dig through our memories until it rings white noise in my head,
our image a sea of blurred white dots against an ocean of static –
We are old news; a corrupted save file I can no longer reload,
and yet I keep trying.

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Epiphanies, News

Welcome to the Uncanny

internet addiction by namirenn

internet addiction by namirenn

Something strange just happened.

In fact, I would go ahead and label this experience as downright uncanny – yes, in all its Freudian glory – I just experienced the uncanny.

I was happily scouring the internet during my lunch break when I happened to stumble upon a website my friend used to swear upon. Much like Plenty of Fish, she met a ton of men through this site and is now happily dating one of her catches.

And so, after realizing I was now on the site my friend used to meet her boyfriend — damn my curiosity, I decided to look for her profile.

BIG.

MISTAKE.

I boast to my boyfriend that he doesn’t know the internet like I know the internet, and he would retort in defiance: “Well, I don’t want to know the internet like you know the internet!” And yes, I admit, I have visited some very dark parts of the internet that I would be far too ashamed to admit, but that comes with my overly curious nature. But today, of all days, I may have touched a part of the internet I wish I had never touched.

I typed in her old high school email and got a hit instantly. It actually scared me how careless she was with these sort of things, as she didn’t even use an alternate email to register for a site I’m sure she wouldn’t want to be found in. But I confess – as soon as I saw that this profile was undeniably hers – I felt the old rush of adrenaline – as if I had just discovered something precious.

A part of being a writer, I believe, is that titillating rush you get when you discover a side to a person you would never have predicted. To us, you’re all characters — waiting to be explored, waiting to be written. So when we’re afforded little glimpses of personalities you would otherwise have preferred to remain hidden, it gives us a feeling of superiority. Superiority because as a writer, I am quite aware that people are extremely careful of the kind of persona they convey to different members of their social circle.

We all filter. We all selectively show parts of ourselves to other people, and hide parts from others.

This is why the internet is a treasure trove of secrets. People don masks in the internet thinking they would never be discovered, so they have usernames and aliases that they use on sites they don’t want to be discovered in. But most people don’t think twice — most people use the same username they have on their old high school emails, on their old xbox live membership. And yes, most people aren’t as morbidly curious as I am, but on the off chance that you do decide to sign up for a website you wouldn’t want to be discovered in? Pro-tip? Use an alias.

I guess you can tell where I’m going with this.

I did find my friend’s profile, but it didn’t afford me the same satisfaction I would usually get when I dig up some dirt from a person I don’t like to begin with. For one, she’s a very dear friend of mine so stumbling on this profile felt a lot more like a betrayal, than it did discovery. Second –  and you probably saw this one coming – she posted photos I know for a DAMN FACT she wouldn’t want any of her friends seeing — she was in provocative poses I have never seen her in and after seeing it, I immediately felt ashamed, bewildered and deeply troubled.

Obviously the next thing I did was confront her about it – and she was absolutely mortified that her profile was still up. I teased her a bit and said, “No wonder you got all those guys messaging you!” to which I received a 10 minute lecture about how I should mind my own beeswax, which made me laugh even harder. But this doesn’t mask the feeling I got when I first saw her profile — it was definitely uncanny, because she’s so familiar, but I was discovering her in an environment that was so public, and yet at the same time, was intended to be intensely private.

Which then made me wonder about the personas we create when we’re on the internet.

The internet affords us anonymity because of its great expanse. It is much like entering a foreign country and starting anew – and within its enormity, we convince ourselves that we can be lost in it, and that our identities will never be exposed amongst the countless nameless profiles. We don’t call each other by name – we call each other by numbers and aliases – lilyflower23, or hyperactive_freak44, and it somehow adds to the security of anonymity.

We distance ourselves from our identities by creating usernames, and it makes us forget how easy it is to be discovered.

With the internet we are led to believe that we are free to be whoever we want to be, and find other people with the same interests and quirks as we do. And because we find comfort in its vastness, we become careless in what we do hide.

I believe the internet has given birth to a new kind of uncanny: and that is discovering friends we have in real life, in websites they don’t tell us they visit. Whether it’s discovering them in an Irritable Bowel Syndrome forum, or a hidden Tumblr blog, our lives have been mapped in the internet in one form or another. And even if you are a decided hermit, who refuses to sign up for Facebook or any other social media platform, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there’s a trace of you somewhere — your information is still out there, from photos people have of you, to your name being mentioned in someone else’s blog.

This may seem insignificant to you – but think about the show Catfish. Catfish started out as a documentary about a photographer, Nev Schulman, who fell in love with a woman he met online. The documentary then takes an unexpected turn when it becomes about Nev trying to figure out who the woman really was – whether or not she was the woman in the pictures he had sent her, and how much of what she told him was true.

Due to its popularity, MTV decided to do a reality show based on the documentary and it now chronicles the adventures of Nev and Max as they scour America to help people in online relationships determine the truth behind the person they’ve been communicating with. More often than not, it turns out they were hiding something – and that they have comfortably donned  the masks of other beautiful people they found online and assumed their personalities. The reasons they give for doing this, varies – and its authenticity and simplicity is what makes their stories so relatable, and yet so saddening. The whole premise of the show wouldn’t have existed twenty years ago – who would’ve thought that the first instinct of humankind, upon gaining access to the world – is to pretend to be someone else entirely?

The internet has assumed multiple roles in our modern society, but the role it has become for most of us, is a means of escape. Whether or not it’s escaping from others, or escaping from ourselves,  the internet has definitely made it easier for us to alter our reality.

When George Orwell wrote “1984”, the biggest threat to our livelihood was  Big Brother eyeing our every move. Unbeknownst to Orwell, a mere 64 years later, us as a society, have created our own version of Big Brother, by voluntarily giving away our information (and those of our friends and family, albeit indirectly)  in websites like Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and Instagram.

Your privacy and identity – as you know it – is about to change in the next few years.  Welcome to the uncanny.

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Epiphanies

How to Cut People Out of your life & Forget Them Completely

(A Complete Guide Designed to make You Feel Better About Yourself in General)

delete by jeffgraffit

delete by jeffgraffit

Update Aug. 22 2014/ Disclaimer: It has long come to my attention that this post is, unfortunately, one of my most popular posts on this blog, with people reaching it often typing in search words such as: how to forget someone, deleting someone, what to do after you’ve been cut off, etc. I would just like to emphasize the following:

  1. First and foremost – this is not, in any way shape or form – meant to be taken SERIOUSLY. It is a SATIRE. It is meant for comedic purposes. It is not a literal HOW TO on trying to forget someone – so if that’s what you’re looking for in here – please look somewhere else.
  2. This was meant as a post for people who want to break-up with FRIENDS, NOT a person you are in a relationship with. Being in a romantic relationship with someone is definitely very different from having such a friendship with someone, so please don’t view this post as such.
  3. This was also meant to apply to a person who is breaking up with a FRIEND  without trying to mediate the situation first, to avoid any sort of confrontation. This was supposed to be about me de-friending people before I get too close to them because I was too afraid of being de-friended first – so if this somehow, affects you personally, I apologize, but this post was not meant to reach the heights that it did, it was more of a way for me to vent.

Knowing all that, I hope I didn’t scare you away. Otherwise – enjoy.

(A/N: I hope this post comes off as satirical and comedic. I don’t actually want anybody to ever do this, I have done it way too much, and I regret it every single time. If you’re in a situation you want to get out of, I would suggest to dig deep and try to understand where the other person is coming from. I like to believe that people are inherently good and honest, and that it’s their problems/insecurities/past trauma that motivates them to become unworthy of our love and attention.)

So you’ve had it. For some reason or other, you need to get rid of this person, and you need to get rid of him/her — FAST. It doesn’t matter if she’s your in-the-moment best friend, that girl you went to high school and university that all of a sudden deleted you off Facebook, or that one-night stand — you can solve all your problems and protect yourself completely if you follow this guide right here.

Please note: this, by no means, implicates that you AREN’T the asshole who decided to break contact and forget everything this person has done for you. The situation, at this point, is moot. Just know and understand, that following these steps, is for your own protection only — maybe you don’t want to get hurt, maybe you’re afraid of what this new friendship/encounter will bring, or maybe you found an inherent flaw that you just can’t get over — doesn’t matter — deciding to cut people out of your life is for your own good, meaning you’ve consciously decided to ignore and de-legitimize what the other person could be going through/could feel after being cut/any general repercussion of the friendship having ended.

Therefore, you will have to live with this guilt for the rest of your life and you should be prepared for it.

But you already knew that before coming here.

1. Focus on your reasons for leaving.

What is it? Is it because she once said something racist you can’t quite get over? Or is it because he called and texted way too many times than you’re comfortable with?

Whatever it is, focus on it. Even better, exaggerate the shit out of it. Here’s where your imagination/paranoia can kick in.

Google him/her. That’s your best ticket to finding everyone’s dirtiest secret. Don’t be stupid and google their names, that almost never works. Most people have been privy to this googling secret and have decided to cover their cyber tracks. Google their old high school email, or maybe it’s their gamertag on  xbox or ps3 — either way, you’re going to get a hit. Most people will use the same username on websites they don’t want to be discovered in. That can range from myfitnesspal to livejasmin. Pick your vice.

Sooner or later, you’re going to stumble on a dirty little secret — maybe they have irritable bowel syndrome and signed up for a forum, or maybe they like big-breasted girls and have a paid account on a porn site — whatever it is, you’ve found your gem. Create a story that ties with their internet activities to the person you know — and BOOM. You’ve got yourself a legitimate reason to disappear from their lives forever.

Because no one, and I mean no one, would ever want their internet history found for some reason or another. There’s always something you don’t know about a person that exists somewhere on the internet — you just gotta find it and use it.

2. Start the wipe-out.

Chances are, if you’re a decent human being, a sad, defeated, “hey” every once in a while over text will be enough to make you reel back. Even looking at old Facebook photos can be a very painful process if you want to forget about a person. Which is why you should wipe everything you can about that person from your life.

I know some phones don’t completely block numbers. It blocks their calls but you can still get their texts — which is enough of a trigger for some of us. Worry not — there’s apps for that! One that’s available for Android is Mr.Number. It’s an easy enough interface that allows you to block calls and texts from any number that you want. But make sure you go on “settings” and stop those notifications from coming in, otherwise you get a sad little beep every time the person tries to contact you – and remember, no one wants to relapse!

Make sure you do a clean swipe! Mark their email addresses as spam on ALL YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNTS. The last thing you want is an email with 😦 on the subject and nothing but “What’s wrong?? IS EVERYTHING OK??” as content. That will tug at your heartstrings and we don’t want that. So just mark them as spam and just never check your junk mail — ever, ever, ever. Just click hitting that “Empty Junk” button and your heart will stay whole.

Last but not least, purge them off your facebook completely. That includes friendship removal, untag photos, delete your own albums, delete wall posts and (if you can) unfriend mutual friends. And most of all, BLOCK YOUR FACEBOOK so that they can’t send you a message, write on your wall, or try to friend you again. NOT EVEN A SINGLE POKE.

It is only when you’re done with the cleansing that true healing can begin.

3. Move on.

Don’t talk about it — EVER. Not to anyone. Not even your cat. Internalize that shit until it becomes a kidney stone that has to be removed. Never cry, don’t even scream. If you let a single word escape from you that attempts to explain/describe what you just did, you will break, and all your hard work will come undone. You’ll relapse; guilt will take over and you’ll send a sad, desperate text message one day while you’re drunk in Lindsey, and say, “I still love you”.

And then you’ll start getting calls you wish you didn’t hear ring, because as soon as they start reaching out, the vivid illusion you built for yourself becomes so alive and so terrifying in your mind that you are now convinced it’s real. And you’ll start stressing, and you’ll start realizing that if you pick up, you’ll have to explain yourself, and because you never really took the time to understand what scared you away, you won’t be able to come up with an answer, and you’ll slowly sink into the realization that it was your fault, that it was you who ran away. So you won’t pick up.

Until they stop calling, and then both of you revert back to step one. You’ll have to start forgetting again. You sent a text, so you probably never deleted that number in the first place. Or maybe you dug it up from old emails. Which you now have to delete. Remember. Protect yourself. If you do relapse, repeat step 1 to 2, and dedicate yourself to step 3. It’s essential after all, and is the whole point of this thing.

It’s better if you move to another city. New surroundings will help you  forget easily. It’s even better if you find a new group of friends who know nothing about your past. So constantly seek them out. Never turn down an invite to another party, to another bar, to another club.

Keep trying to surround yourself with friends to forget the fact that you once had a single, true friend you felt too scared to hold on to, because you couldn’t handle the responsibility that comes with unconditional love, but mostly because you came to a point where you realized you loved them too much and that you would do absolutely anything to prevent them from knowing who you really are only to end up dissapointed — even if that meant cutting them out of your life completely.

But don’t worry — it’s the last step. It’s only the rest of your life you have to worry about from this point on, not anybody else’s.

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poetry

Dammit, Janet.

tape recorder by stengchen

tape recorder by stengchen

Oh, how quickly we weave stories
from barely existing points of inquiries:
what I can spin from a profile pic
and a quick google search
can fill the length of
an entire Led Zeppelin discography.
Not everyone does this? –I wonder why,
it’s the only thing that separates their truths from their lies.
Put their stories in quotes
and memorize their anecdotes
and you’ll see how everything everyone says–
is a sad, tired repost.

Point in fact:
I met quite the act,
Who smoked his cigars and delivered
Jokes so funny I shivered.
I swooned and I mooned to his intelligent woos,
only to catch his entire act on Youtube.

Which makes me wonder,
about the validity of others,
Is that your photograph or did you get it from Flickr?

Found a girl in wide glasses, she must be your lover,
White dog in her lap named Janet.
Did she break your heart and crush it?
Or did she see right through your kindess?
Or did you weave a story so real
to convince me what a true man is?

I can tell you’re quite the magician,
Show me your favourite type of manipulation —
But I warn you now, I’m best at contradiction,
Nothing anyone says doesn’t require an investigation,
I’ll find your truth, you see it’s my addiction,

Because weeding out the filters and the liars is a mighty fine obsession.

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